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Archives » TV Spot Market

Ad Age Releases Pinpoint TV Demo Maps

Published 2 years ago

Ad Age is offering a “Peek at Which Shows Get the Most Love Around the Country,” on both broadcast and cable. Ad Age conducted research with Experian Simmons and

Patchwork to create two maps detailing top network and cable shows by county. The maps incorporate data gathered from 25,000 households in Q4 2011, and describe those counties with demographic-skewing labels such as "Evangelical Epicenters," "Emptying Nest," "Campus and Careers."

Young and more affluent urbanites are 34% more likely to watch “America’s Top Model”

  • “Empty-nest” communities of baby boomers are 20% more likely to watch “Mike & Molly” (with its older and overweight stars) than other groups
  • “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart is most popular around campuses
  • Nearly the entire Mormon population of Utah enjoys "Chuck"

Ad Age partnered with Patchwork Nation to “layer a ton of data through what is a demographic-segmentation tool with geo-targeting built in.” The value proposition is that the segments are more granular, as ratings tend to drill down to more inclusive, contiguous regions. These shows, therefore, can represent a cost-conscious way to target certain demographics. Whatever the show, be it “Daily Show” or “Bobby Jones Gospel,” Ad Age believes that these pinpoint demographics offer a “cost conscious way” for advertisers to target their key demos.

Upfront TV: BET’s Late Show | Burstyn Joins “Animals” | “Titanic,” Brolin Bore | Romney on SNL?

Published 2 years ago
  • Black Entertainment Television (BET) plans to launch its late-night talker “Don’t Sleep With T.J. Holmes” in the fall, reports the New York Times. The Monday-through-Friday show will compete head-to-head with “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central, “Chelsea Lately” on E! and “Conan” on TBS. T.J. Holmes recently joined BET from CNN, and his show will include news commentary and satire in the vein of Jon Stewart and Bill Maher, and will tackle “social issues and current events important to BET’s audience.
  • Oscar, Emmy and BAFTA winner Ellen Burstyn (“Big Love,” “Requiem for a Dream”) will join USA Network’s original series “Political Animals,” alongside Sigourney Weaver (“Avatar”), Ciarán Hinds (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”), Carla Gugino (“Entourage”), James Wolk (“Shameless”), Sebastian Stan (“Gossip Girl”) and Brittany Ishibashi (“The Mentalist”). This six-hour event drama (what used to be called a miniseries) from acclaimed television and film producers Greg Berlanti (“Brothers & Sisters”) and Laurence Mark (“Dreamgirls”) is slated for the network’s summer lineup.
  • All the 100th-anniversary hoopla couldn’t get viewers interested in “Titanic” on ABC Saturday night. Part one of the four-part miniseries took an 0.8 rating among adults 18-49, reports TVByTheNumbers. Last week’s airing of “The Ten Commandments,” a 50-year-old flick, took twice that rating, with a 1.6 A18-49. Worse news at NBC, where the Ford-funded “Escape Routes” reality TV show took a 0.3.

  • “Saturday Night Live” had an off night as well, reports Deadline Hollywood. Actor Josh Brolin failed to excite like Sofia Vergara did last week, and the show was down 7% for a 2.7 rating. But SNL will have the curiosity factor to boost it, if Mitt Romney signs on. As Hollywood Reporter details, Romney has been offered the spot but has yet to accept. Nearly all presidential candidates since 2000 have appeared on SNL, with Sarah Palin delivering top ratings in 2008, and Al Gore after losing to GW Bush in 2000. Politicians excite on SNL, and so do athletes. New York Giants QB Eli Manning will host SNL on May 5, with musical guest Rihanna. Manning’s Super Bowl rival Tom Brady delivered SNL a 5.9. 
  • Turns out being a “talking head” is one of the 10 worst jobs, according to a poll by jobsite CareerCast. Radio and TV broadcasters ranked #10 on a list of worst jobs—newspaper reporter was #5. Both are low in physical demands of course, but low in pay, high in stress, and poor in job security. high in stress. “As the digital world continues to take over…the need for print newspapers and daily newscasts is diminishing.”

Research: TV Was Champ in 2011 Ad Spend, Hispanic Media Skyrocketed, Online a Mixed Bag

Published 2 years ago

Kantar Media has released its final tallies for 2011 ad spending across media, and the results are a mixed bag. They suggest that advertisers value TV, are losing faith in consumer magazines and newspapers (no news there), and are on the fence about digital advertising.

Surprisingly hard hit were Sunday magazines (like Parade, The Boston Globe Magazine and the New York Times Magazine). Presumably this is because print newspaper subscriberships are down, and readers tend to cut out the expensive Sunday editions to save money, before they cancel daily subscriptions.

Big winners: Spanish-language media, and TV syndication.

Spanish-language TV was up 8.3% year-over-year, versus 2.4% for TV overall. Spanish-language magazines were up 24.9% YoY, defying a 0.4% decline for all magazines.Syndicated TV was up 15.4% over that 2.4% for TV overall (due in part to the astounding success of “The Big Bang Theory” which hit syndication in Q3).

The Year Overall

Total advertising expenditures increased an unimpressive 0.8% in 2011 and finished the year at $144.0 billion. Ad spending during the fourth quarter of 2011 dropped 1.0% versus the year ago period, the first quarterly decline since the end of 2009. Since reaching a post-recession peak in Q3 2010, advertising growth rates have slowed sequentially for five consecutive quarters.

“The contrast of resilient TV spending and waning budget allocations to other traditional media was plainly evident at the end of 2011,” said Jon Swallen, SVP Research at Kantar Media Intelligence North America. “Some mature digital media formats were also touched by the year-end tide of reduced spending. Whether this is an isolated occurrence or an early sign of digital dollars moving more quickly towards emerging and unmeasured digital platforms bears watching as 2012 unfolds.”

Measured Ad Spending By Media
Television continued to lead the ad market in the fourth quarter. Network TV expenditures jumped 7.7% year-over-year and were helped by strong pricing for football, a baseball World Series that went the maximum seven games and the launch of “The X Factor” singing competition program. The rate of Cable growth eased during Q4, finishing at +2.4% as higher demand from restaurants and retailers was offset by reductions from consumer packaged goods. For the full year, Network TV decreased by 2.0% while Cable rose 7.7%.

Spanish language TV ad spending surged 19.1% in fourth quarter, paced by higher sell-out levels at over-the-air networks. For all of 2011, the segment increased 8.3%.
Syndication TV benefitted from higher spending by department stores and health & beauty brands and saw expenditures soar 11.0% in Q4. Full year spending advanced by 15.4%.

Spot TV expenditures fell 8.7% in the fourth quarter but the more significant indicator was that November and December spending were each down, despite easy comparisons against diminished, post-election spending volume of a year ago. Full year Spot TV spending dropped 4.5%.

Free Standing Inserts achieved healthy gains in the fourth quarter with spend rising 3.0%. Although manufacturers have been distributing fewer FSI coupons, retailer promotion pages have increased significantly and this contributed to the improvement.

Ad expenditures for measured digital media declined in the fourth quarter. Paid Search budgets were 6.4% lower versus a year ago with continuing reductions from financial, insurance and local service advertisers. Display investments decreased 5.9% in Q4, dragged down by smaller budgets from auto manufacturers, telecom providers and travel companies. For the entire year, Paid Search declined 2.8% and Display increased 5.5%.

Magazine ad spending eroded at year end. Consumer Magazines declined 5.2% in the fourth quarter due to deep cutbacks in auto, food and pharmaceutical advertising. Total year expenditures were level compared to prior year. Outlays in Sunday Magazines fell 9.8% in Q4, the sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines, and were down 7.2% for all of 2011.

Local Newspaper ad expenditures fell 3.9% during the fourth quarter, hurt by the reallocation of retailer advertising budgets to other media channels during the key holiday shopping season. Full year spending was 3.8% lower. The losses in Newspaper spending are consistent with reductions in the amount of space sold.

The pace of spending in Radio media also sagged. Local Radio expenditures were down 3.8% and National Spot Radio plummeted 13.9% in the fourth quarter. The telecom, financial service and automotive categories were prime contributors to these quarterly decreases.

Measured Ad Spending By Advertiser
Spending among the ten largest advertisers in 2011 reached $16,061.6 million, a 2.8% decline compared to a year ago. Among the Top 100 marketers, a diversified group that represents over two-fifths of all measured ad expenditures, full year budgets were down 0.2%.

For the ninth consecutive year, Procter & Gamble was the top advertiser with spending of $2,949.1 million down 5.4% compared to last year. While TV is still the foundation of its advertising media buys, P&G’s 2011 budget allocation saw share gains for magazines at the expense of TV.

AT&T was the second largest advertiser in 2011 with expenditures of $1,924.6 million, a decline of 11.7%. Media budgets were severely curtailed during the fourth quarter when the company abandoned its attempted acquisition of T-Mobile, triggering large breakup fees and a huge earnings loss. At Verizon Communications, full year ad spending was $1,636.9 million, a decrease of 11.8%. After a string of quarterly budget cuts dating to early 2010, Verizon sharply boosted its spending during the last quarter.

The largest growth rate among the Top Ten marketers was posted by Chrysler, up 36.2% to $1,193.0 for the full year. The increase was driven by marketing introductions for several new or redesigned models, coupled with the improved sales climate for new vehicles. In contrast, General Motors lowered its 2011 outlays by 16.1% to $1,784.1 million. Q4 media budgets dropped 24.7%. As factory support has been trimmed, GM dealers have been bearing a larger share of the overall marketing effort.

L’Oreal investments in 2011 rose 18.1% to $1,343.5 million as the company expanded marketing support for the L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline and Garnier brand lines. Comcast (+11.3%, to $1,577.2 million) and Time Warner (+5.8%, to $1,279.4 million) also posted full year spending gains.

Measured Ad Spending By Category
Expenditures for the ten largest categories grew 3.3% in 2011 and reached $81,629.2 million.

Automotive was the leading category in dollar volume and finished 2011 at $13,890.4 million, up 6.3%. Category spending growth became increasingly bifurcated during the year with Tier 2 and Tier 3 dealer budgets continuing to expand and Tier 1 manufacturer expenditures flattening.

Miscellaneous Retail, which is comprised of all retail segments except Department Stores and Home Improvement purveyors, was the second largest category with 2011 expenditures of $10,019.5 million, up 4.0%. Robust ad spending during the critical year-end holiday season bolstered results.

Insurance registered the largest growth rate among the Top Ten categories with a 13.5% gain to $5,519.0 million. Aggressive competition among auto insurers to gain market share continues to drive media budgets higher.

Financial Services totaled $9,059.9 million of spending, a 3.6% increase. Growth has been fueled by the credit card segment, offsetting continued weakness in ad budgets for investment products and retail banking.

The Telecom category lost ground as 2011 expenditures fell 5.8% to $8,649.0 million. Declines were most pronounced among the leading wireless service advertisers. Aggregates expenditures from TV service providers also slowed.

Top Spending Advertisers Within Select Media
The top ten TV advertisers spent $10,115.4 million in the medium during 2011, down 0.8% from a year ago. This group accounted for 14.9% of total TV expenditures by all advertisers.

The ten largest Internet advertisers invested a total of $2,360.6 million in paid search and display campaigns, up 10.0% versus a year ago. Despite fragmentation on the web, the group accounted for 10.9% share of all Internet ad dollars.

The top ten advertisers in Hispanic Media spent $1,403.6 million during 2011, an increase of 29.2%. This group accounted for 24.7% of all Hispanic Media expenditures, the largest Top Ten share concentration of any medium.


TLC Upfront: 55 Offerings Include Brides, Lady Di, “Mama’s Boys” and “Cheapskates”

Published 2 years ago

It’s an eclectic mix. TLC is offering a 2012-2013 slate that includes 55 new and returning series, offering everything from spoiled live-at-home Bronx guys to supernannies and female preachers.

With 29 series delivering over one million viewers, TLC continues to rank among the top 10 ad-supported cable networks among women in primetime – and the network shows no signs of slowing down. This Upfront season, TLC builds on its established momentum, announcing more than 55 new and returning series to air in 2012-2013.

“TLC’s sweet spot lies in our ability to open doors into the lives of relatable, remarkable people and connect them with viewers across the country – many of whom have become television’s most beloved personalities and families,” said Amy Winter, general manager for TLC. “With over 55 new and returning series programmed within our most popular genres, this Upfront promises a robust slate of exciting original programming, as well as brand new adventures with our audience’s favorite faces.”

TLC continues to go behind-the-scenes into rarely seen worlds with “Breaking Amish” (working title), a 10-part series following the lives of Amish men and women as they experience life – for the first time – outside the Amish community; and “Preacher Ladies” (working title), a candid look into Atlanta-area churches’ first ladies in their work with their congregations and at home.

Friday remains “Bride-Day” – a top destination for wedding programming – as TLC presents three new series for viewers to fall in love with, including “Ultimate Dress Quest” (working title), where brides come far and wide to have their ultimate dress fantasy fulfilled; “Brides of New Jersey” (working title), centered around a New Jersey bridal shop that caters to loud and proud brides as they hunt down their perfect dress while dealing with their very opinionated friends, fiancés and family members, and “Maids of Dishonor” (working title), where your best friend may easily become your biggest nightmare. In addition, the network will add another celebrity wedding special to its slate, joining Mario Lopez and Courtney Mazza as they celebrate their marriage with their family and friends.

Family continues to grow at TLC with “Mama’s Boys of the Bronx”, a look inside the lives of five proud Italian-American men who unapologetically still live with their mothers and the “Bates Family Series” (working title), eight 30-minute episodes following Gil and Kelly Bates, and their 19 children as they share what it takes to manage life with such a large family.
Additional highlights of TLC’s 2012-13 upfront schedule include the following:


American Wifestyles (working title)
There is no typical way to be a wife. From arranged marriages, to women obsessed with being the perfect 1950′s style of homemaker, to the trophy wives who are proud to be kept women, wives in America come in every shape, size, and ideology. This revealing anthology series will go deep inside the lives of the diverse, complicated, hilarious and often shocking REAL lives of wives across America. (Q3, 2012)

Bates Family Series (working title)
The Bates family just welcomed baby 19, which means Gil and Kelly Jo now have 10 girls and 9 boys. See how they manage life with such a large family that includes up to 20 loads of laundry, 7 gallons of milk and 9 loaves of bread every week. Their back to basics life in the hills of Tennessee is free of distractions like television and video games, but full of activities like chores, singing and spending time with each other. We’ll follow the family as they share their love of music and family values, and see for ourselves how they pull it all off. (Q2, 2012)

Big Brooklyn Style
A half-hour workplace docu-soap following larger than life plus-size designer Lisa Dolan and her husband/partner Jim Dolan, as they set out to conquer the plus-size fashion world, one beautifully designed dress at a time. The series will follow the family run business on their mission to combine style with plus size clothing, to make women of any size feel confident and fashionable. Each week, we follow the comedy and drama as Lisa and Jim navigate the complex world of plus-size fashion on their mission to help transform their customers’ lives. (Q2, 2012)

Big Tiny: Life with the Jordans
Anew series about the extraordinary life of the world’s smallest siblings. In September 2011, 22-year-old Bridgette Jordan was crowned the “World’s Shortest Living Woman.” Weighing only 18 pounds, she stands a diminutive, beyond-belief size of 28,” about the size of a six month old baby, while her younger brother Brad, weighs only 35 pounds and stands just 38″ tall – making them the world’s shortest living brother and sister. (Q2, 2012)

Breaking Amish (working title)
An unprecedented look into a rarely seen world, following five Amish men and women and one Mennonite woman as they make the most important decision of their lives – to join the church and fully embrace the Amish and Mennonite lifestyle, or leave for good and follow their dreams outside of their communities.  The stakes are incredibly high as each of them face complete and total rejection, criticism and even exile from their family’s homes and their community.   However, all of them feel they will never be at peace in their community unless they know what lies beyond.  They are inviting viewers to come along on their bold and courageous decision to put their lives on hold and leave religious dress, head coverings, horse & buggies and the simple life behind as they trade it in for a journey of firsts.   The innocence and joy of watching these men and women experience things we take for granted for the first time will be unforgettable. (Q3, 2012)

Craft Wars
Hosted by Tori Spelling, pits creative and genius crafters against one another in inspiring and tough challenges. Our crafters create cool, eye-popping pieces that will leave the viewer amazed and asking themselves, “how’d they do that!?”  Each episode invites three craft experts to our arena to compete in two rounds of intense, timed competition. The first round, called the “Pop Craft,” challenges our competitors to create a more traditional and functional craft – but with some rather unusual materials – that the crafters must create in only one hour.  After the end of Round 1, our panel of judges, each an esteemed craft expert, will eliminate one crafter and the remaining two will face off in the final “Master Craft” round, a five-hour no holds barred contest to create the most imaginative large scale craft they can dream of. In the end, the craftiest crafter will walk away with $10,000. (Q3, 2012)

Extreme Cheapskates
An insider’s look at the most extreme money saving people around. Prepare to be amazed at their inventive and outrageous ways to save a buck as we reveal the saving (and spending) habits of – America’s most “Extreme Cheapskates.” (Q3, 2012)

Irish Dancing Special (working title) – Q3, 2012
Irish Dancing Series (working title) – Q1, 2013

This one-hour special and eight-part series gives viewers a rare look behind the scenes of the world of competitive Irish dance. We follow the lives of American girls and boys, their families and their teachers as they all prepare for the biggest event of the year: The World Championship competition. In the weeks leading up to the “Worlds,” they endure the physical and emotional stress of a rigorous practice schedule. In a world where every detail of the performance is planned as much as the steps, from the intricate costumes to hair design and makeup, these contestants have one goal in mind – returning home a world champion.  It’s a compelling story of heart, discipline and fierce competition.   (Q1, 2013)

Untitled Jo Project (working title)
TLC has signed a development deal with the original Supernanny, Jo Frost, to put her back to work fixing troubled families. She’s already tamed screaming toddlers, and now she’s tackling some of America’s toughest families and modern parenting challenges. From out-of-control teenagers, to interfering in-laws and battling school bullies – America’s families need help – and fast. (Q1, 2013)

Mama’s Boys of the Bronx
Forget about fresh baked bread, pasta and cannoli - Arthur Avenue is the place where growing up means never having to leave your mama. TLC shares a slice of the real Little Italy with “Mama’s Boys of the Bronx”, an eight-part series that follows five proud Italian-American men who grew up together and have plenty in common – they’re attractive, employed, in their 30′s…and unapologetically still live with their mothers.  (Q2, 2012)

May the Best House Win
A home is a direct reflection of its owner…right? Well, when four very different homeowners take turns to host a tour of their homes, we’ll find out just how accurate saying ‘you are where you live’ actually is. Going through the keyhole of homes as weird and wonderful as their occupants, the other contestants will get a chance to snoop around before giving their frank opinions and rating the home, each hoping that at the end it’s their house which will come out on top to win the $10,000 prize. (Q3, 2012)

On The Fly
Follows the folks whose daily challenge is getting thousands of passengers to their destinations on time and in a happy mood.  In each episode, we introduce the engaging airline employees of Southwest Airlines, who must think on their feet as they cope with the chaos of weather delays, irate passengers and more surprising and unusual situations that only occur while flying.  Focusing on airports in Chicago, Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, we get an inside look at the dramatic, funny and uplifting moments flying the largest domestic airline in the U.S.  (Q2, 2012)

Preacher Ladies (working title)
A candid look into the lives of the dynamic southern belles who walk a path only a chosen few can follow. We’ll watch each week as these ladies shatter stereotypes of what an old-fashioned preacher’s wife is expected to be with the 21st Century reality of these high-powered women who hold court in Atlanta’s world of mega-churches, multi-million dollar empires and high priced perfection. We’ll see our “First Ladies” as they navigate between the family home and the high and mighty pulpit, from the front cover of the papers to television screens across the nation, and from intimate prayer meetings to stadiums filled to capacity. (Q4, 2012)

Randy to the Rescue
“Say Yes to the Dress” breakout star, Randy Fenoli, is throwing the ultimate bridal truck show! On every episode of this splashy new series, Randy will roll into a different city in a tractor-trailer packed to the gills with wedding dresses. Eager brides line up around city blocks for their chance to get advice from the most trusted name in wedding dress retail. Inside the ballroom, Randy will have a team of consultants, working various fitting stations, to help each bride find the perfect dress. The hour-long television show will focus on Randy’s work with three particularly interesting brides. Doing much more than helping women find the right dress, he’ll design their entire look from “head to hem” (dress, hair, makeup, bouquet). (Q2, 2012)

Southie Pride (working title)
As one of the nation’s most historic neighborhoods, South Boston is known for hard-working residents who display an outrageous passion for life, family and town. Now, TLC takes viewers into this tight-knit community in the new TLC series “Southie Pride” (working title), going inside the homes of five South Boston women as they struggle to make a life for their families and protect the people they love the most. (Q3, 2012)

Tattoo School
In each episode, three new students go to The World’s Only Tattoo School in colorful Shreveport, Louisiana to experience an intensive two-week “sink or swim” program. Every time these tattoo-artists-in-training put needle to skin, there’s the potential for a work of art…or an unnatural disaster, all under the watchful eye of Dr. Bill Pogue, the founder and lead instructor of “Tattoo School.” Using his 40 years of experience in the business, he takes only two weeks to teach what most tattoo artists spend years learning.  And for the student who does the best tattoo on the final exam, there’s the Golden Gun, a high-end tattoo machine that will get them started on their tattooing career.  (Q2, 2012)


9/11 Emergency Room (working title)
This one-hour special is the moving and inspiring story of the emergency service workers who treated the injured around the World Trade Center as the jets crashed and the towers fell. On 9/11, few inside the World Trade Center escaped unharmed.  Thousands of evacuating office workers, innocent bystanders and emergency responders were harmed in some way.  When the first plane hit the Twin Towers, the New York emergency units sprang into action saving lives despite the hardest of circumstances. Quick-response triage centers were under threat from collapse as they were positioned so close to the towers and many of the injured had to be ferried across the Hudson River to safety. “9/11 Emergency Room” looks at the incredible response from the medical professionals on the ground as the horror unfolded and the impact their service had on so many people that day. (Q3, 2012)

Birth Moms (working title)
A real raw human drama, “Birth Moms” (working title) looks behind the agonizing dilemma that begins every adoption story. This one-hour special focuses on the lives of three birth moms living at an adoption center in Utah and struggling with the decision to put their babies up for adoption. Tensions run high as this diverse group of women from around the country interact during this tumultuous time. As each mother is introduced, we’ll find out what brought her to the center and follow her journey through childbirth. We’ll witness face-to-face meetings with prospective adoptive parents who desperately want these children, and be present for the gut wrenching moment when each birth mom must finally decide if they will give their baby up for adoption. (Q2, 2012)

Brides of New Jersey (working title)
Every bride-to-be has a vision of her dream gown, but for these brides, the dream is a little bit bigger than average.  Welcome to “Brides of New Jersey” (working title) – from big hair, plunging necklines and massive amounts of bling, these brides are doing it up Jersey style. This special goes inside a bridal shop in New Jersey that caters to loud and proud brides as they hunt for their perfect dress while dealing with their very opinionated friends, fiancés and family members. It’s love, marriage and happily ever after – Jersey style. (Q3, 2012)

The Bubble Man (working title)
Chandra Wisnu’s skin has been so badly ravaged by tumors he is known as “The Bubble Man.” His horrible condition has taken over his life and now symptoms of this condition are appearing in his two adult children. World-renowned dermatologist Dr. Anthony Gaspari travels to Indonesia to try to find a cure for Chandra and save his children from the affliction that he has endured for the past 36 years. (Q3, 2012)

DC Cupcakes: Mommy’s Birthday Bash
It’s Mommy’s 60th birthday and Sophie and Katherine want to honor her in the best possible way – with a surprise birthday party, complete with a life-size Greek statue of Mommy made out of cupcakes.  But before they can prepare for the party, the sisters must handle one of the busiest weekends in Georgetown Cupcake history, filling orders for eight weddings.  Stress and tension mount as Sophie and Katherine must find time to run their business and make the elaborate preparations for Mommy’s surprise party.  (Q2, 2012)

DC Cupcakes: NY Store Opening (working title)
The sisters of Georgetown Cupcake are expanding and they’ve got their sights on the Big Apple.  Watch as Sophie and Katherine set out to find their newest location, build it out and train an entire new staff in less than four weeks.  And to make a big splash of their arrival in New York, the sisters agree to make a life-size New York City taxi made out of cupcakes for an annual doggie-fashion show for the charity Angels on a Leash. (Q2, 2012)

Little People, Big World Specials (working title)
2012 is a big year for the Roloff family and the TLC cameras will be there to capture their new adventures: Molly will be graduating from high school and going away to college, Zach will finally be moving off the farm and into his own place, Jacob turns 16 and learns how to drive and Amy will turn 50, which Matt plans to mark with a surprise trip retracing their romantic steps on a nostalgic recreation of their honeymoon in San Francisco and along the California Coast. (Q2 & Q3, 2012)

Maids of Dishonor (working title)
One thing is certain – planning a wedding is no piece of cake! As a bride-to-be, you have multiple events to organize, tons of decisions to make, and endless fires to put out. So to help maintain your sanity, you ask your best girlfriends to be your partners in (wedding) crime, and become your bridesmaids. But what happens when your ‘ladies in waiting’ aren’t the solution to your stress; they’re the cause of it? (Q3, 2012)

Dr. McKinnon Tumor Specials (working title)
They are some of the most bizarre and extreme tumors ever encountered and there’s only one surgeon in the world who is both willing and qualified to take the cases. Join Dr. McKay McKinnon as he attempts life-saving surgeries for four unique patients. (Q2, 2012)

Mario Lopez Wedding Special (working title)
TLC is partnering with Mario Lopez and his fiancé Courtney Mazza to follow along as they prepare for their perfect wedding. The network will join the couple as they navigate through the planning process, discover the perfect dress and celebrate their love at their wedding with their family and friends. The entire experience will air as a special television event shortly after the ceremony later this year. (Q4, 2012)

My Mother Diana
Nearly thirty years after his parents exchanged their wedding vows, Prince William walked down the aisle at Westminster Abbey with his new bride. “My Mother Diana” looks at how Diana’s life, her relationship with the House of Windsor, the media and the public have shaped her eldest son, Prince William. When a twenty-year-old Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, their wedding at St. Paul’s was watched by billions. But that relationship would develop into a romantic tragedy, whose effects would be more profound than anyone could have imagined. (Q2, 2012)

Obese & Expecting
Maria, Alissa, Denise and Jeanette are four moms-to-be with a common problem: morbid obesity. This hour-long special dives deep into their pregnancy struggles and their hopes of delivering healthy babies. Through major health crisis, excessive weight gain and relationship drama, they share it all. These women are challenging the perception and the odds of obese pregnancies as they become moms, no matter their size or complications.  (Q2, 2012)

William & Kate: One Year Later (working title)
Charts the life of the pair since their marriage on April 29, 2011, exploring their Royal engagements and private moments that have kept Britain and the world enthralled. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are the very definition of a modern Royal couple, charming everyone they meet with their unfussy style, down to earth values and impeccable manners. They’ve been busy encouraging patients on hospital visits and rubbing elbows with Hollywood stars.  (Q2, 2012)

Ultimate Dress Quest (working title)
At Vows, a designer bridal outlet in Boston, bridal bargains are big business and no one works a deal like owners Leslie and Rick DeAngelo – the Nation’s premier scavengers of designer wedding dresses.  Hunting through factory attics, boutique back rooms and department store warehouses, these two leave no gown unturned.  Whether it’s to please a bargain-hunting bridal fashionista or a budget bride in need of a much deserved break, Leslie and Rick will do just about anything to find those diamonds in the rough and figure out how to turn damaged gowns into dollars and dreams. (Q3, 2012)

Discovery Upfront: Osama, Earhart, Watergate, Aliens and Another “Shark Week”

Published 2 years ago

“Taking audiences into unknown worlds,” Discovery Channel announced its 2012-2013 upfront slate highlighted by landmark history event specials, epic natural history programming, bold new series and hit returning favorites.

“Last year was a record setting year for Discovery. In 2012 we have already delivered double digit audience increases and we focusing on an Upfront programming slate that is revealing, provocative and fearless,” said Eileen O’Neill, president of Discovery Channel and TLC Networks.

The highlights of Discovery Channel’s 2012-13 Upfront schedule include the following:


North America
Sweeping across some of the most diverse landscapes on the planet, “North America” takes viewers from the silent grandeur of lofty snowcapped peaks to fertile forests and dramatic windswept coasts.  The continent’s unique geography creates some of the most extreme weather on the planet. Wild animals living in these astonishing and sometimes brutal habitats must be fiercely resilient – sharing that human spirit the continent is known for. From jaguars to spinner sharks, wolves that fish to wolverines high in the mountains, this is NORTH AMERICA.

The Gatekeepers
From the acclaimed filmmaking team of brothers Gedeon and Jules Naudet (“9/11,” “In God’s Name”), Peabody Award-winning news producer Chris Whipple (“60 Minutes,” “ABC News”) and Pulitzer Prize winning White House photographer David Hume Kennerly comes an unprecedented series looking at the key moments, the quiet conversations, back room bargains and heated debates that made history and have never been heard before until now. Called the world’s second toughest job – and also the world’s worst, the White House chiefs of staff translate the presidents’ policies into reality – or disaster. They are the inside eyewitnesses to history, and the confidants with whom the president, and the first lady, share their secrets. “The Gatekeepers” spans nine administrations with interviews from former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush and former chiefs of staff including Rahm Emanuel, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, James A. Baker III, Ken Duberstein, John Sununu and Mack McLarty.

All The President’s Men Revisited
Discovery Channel and award-winning actor/director Robert Redford present a landmark television event looking back at Watergate – the original game changer of America politics. How has Watergate changed the Presidency? What effect has the scandal had on our political leaders? And has hope and optimism forever been replaced in our national dialogue by doubt and cynicism? 2013 marks 40 years since 1973 – Watergate’s most pivotal year. Reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein doggedly investigated the scandal exposing the long, twisted trail of cover-ups and lies. In “All The President’s Men Revisited,” Redford, who famously portrayed Woodward in the iconic 1976 film All the President’s Men, returns to the scandal that broke all the rules of press and politics, brought down a President and changed the country forever.

History of the World
A global television event with spectacular images, compelling characters and gripping stories “History of the World” bringsthe whole of human history to life. A breathtaking journey through time, re-visiting the major turning points of 20,000 years of history from the ancient China to the Aztec empire; from African tribes to European wars; from religious upheaval to the Industrial Revolution.

Shark Week
Everybody loves “Shark Week.” Every summer they return, slashing through a sea of competition to rack up new ratings successes. Grab your scuba gear and climb into the cage, because it’s time for “SHARK WEEK! Great whites. Hammerheads. Whale sharks.” This consistent audience pleaser never fails to reveal remarkable new insights into these magnificent and elusive creatures.

Amelia Earhart
One of the last great mysteries of the 20th century … join the exclusive expedition to finally find out what happened to the fames aviator.

Osama: A History
From award-winning author Mark Bowden – the story of the man who would forever change geopolitics and the world we live in.

Area 51
What was really going on within the secretive Roswell New Mexico sector known as Area 51 – a revealing history of aliens and alien cover-ups in America.


Gold Rush
Friday night’s number one show in all of television (claims Discovery), “Gold Rush” returns for a brand new season of risk and riches. Can someone still make it in America? Down-on-their-luck men, in the face of an economic meltdown, risk everything to strike it rich mining for gold in Alaska. Inspired by his father Jack, Todd Hoffman leads his team of miners hoping the mother lode awaits deep in the Klondike.

Bering Sea Gold
Nome, Alaska: Every summer, as the glacial ice melts around this frozen and isolated port, a handful of fortune seekers hunt for gold in the most unlikely of places: the bottom of the Bering Sea. From the producers of the Emmy-winning “Deadliest Catch” comes a new season of “Bering Sea Gold” – Discovery’s breakout hit of 2011. Meet the salty and eccentric characters who spend hours on the rocky, frigid ocean floor, hunting gold from custom built, sometimes barely seaworthy rigs. From the desperate to the diabolical, the Nome gold fleet takes on all comers, the brutal Bering Sea does the rest.

Deadliest Catch
Alaskan crab-wranglers fight the most dangerous working conditions, including 40-foot waves and 80-mile-per-hour winds, in the gripping 10-part series “Deadliest Catch.” Far in the Bering Sea’s frigid waters, 250 boats tempt fate and nature in “The Last Rodeo” season trying to bring in a season’s catch of the highly coveted and lucrative Alaskan king crab.

Flying Wild Alaska
In the wildest regions of Northern Alaska, the only way in — and the only way out — is by bush plane. It’s a world of dangerous weather, harsh conditions and small communities bonded by native customs, whose very survival depends on air travel. Here, the Tweto family operates Alaska’s largest regional airline, Era Alaska. The Twetos – husband Jim, wife Ferno and their daughters Ariel and Ayla — return for the second season of “Flying Wild Alaska.”

American Chopper
What was once a family business is now a family feud. All bets are off for what new fireworks await in “American Chopper: Senior Vs. Junior.” Paul Senior builds world famous custom bikes at Orange County Choopers while Paul Junior operates his competing shop, Paul Jr. Designs, just a stone’s throw down the road, with brother Mikey and former OCC employees firmly by his side. Will the family be made whole again? And what new out of this world build assignments will they take on to stretch their teams creatively and mechanically?

Alaska: The Final Frontier
Welcome to the Kilcher family and their isolated community outside Homer, Alaska. The Kilchers, led by patriarch Atz Kilcher, have cultivated and lived on their homestead for four generations. These men and women of the wild live off the land, spending the limited months of summer and fall gardening, hunting and fishing for food, gathering supplies from the land and preparing their animals’ safety in preparation for surviving the harsh Alaskan winters. Most live completely off the grid, with no running water and no electricity – and are proud of it.

Dirty Jobs
Host and everyman Mike Rowe gets the grimy scoop on downright nasty, but vital, occupations in “Dirty Jobs.” Rowe could be processing smelly seafood in a fish factory, collecting bat guano for prized fertilizer or cleaning septic tanks to maintain a fresh-smelling environment. His apprenticeship never ends as he learns from those who keep our world running smoothly.


The monster hit of 2011 is back for a brand new season – “Moonshiners.” Think the days of bootleggers, backwoods stills and “white lightning” are over? Not a chance! It’s a multi-million dollar industry. But perhaps more importantly to the moonshiners, it’s a tradition dating back hundreds of years, passed down to them from their forefathers. It’s part of their history and culture. While this practice is surprisingly alive and well, it’s not always legal. Meet those who brew their shine – often in the woods near their homes using camouflaged equipment – and the local authorities who try to keep them honest.

Back and better than ever, “Mythbusters” continues its mad scientific quest to discover the truth behind popular myths and urban legends. Hosted by quirky special effects experts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, this mentally tantalizing series takes on the myths and uses modern-day science to show what’s real and what’s fiction.

From the visionary mind of Discovery’s iconic founder John Hendricks comes season two of this unprecedented special series. “Curiosity” brings the ‘I wonder?’ moment to television with a unique array of provocative subjects. From the future of robots to the science of plane crashes to unlocking the secrets of Yellowstone’s natural power to the unsolved mystery of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance.

Dual Survival
The Odd Couple of the Survival! “Dual Survival” takes two survivalists into the most forbidding terrains in the world where they must overcome all obstacles in order to survive using intuitive tactics and finely tuned skills. Finding food, water and shelter are nothing compare their toughest challenge of all: getting along with one another.

Auction Kings
From vampire killing kits and T-Rex fossil teeth, to pink Cadillacs and hot air balloons, each half-hour episode of “Auction Kings” follows Atlanta auction house owner Paul Brown and his team as they hunt for and sell some of the most unusual items in America. Get to know the sellers, then watch their rarities hit the auction block as Paul and his intrepid crew dazzle bidders for top dollar. “Auction Kings” is a roller coaster ride filled with thrills and disappointments, where one person’s trash becomes another’s treasure and you never know if it’s buyer or seller who will get the deal.


Top Engineer
Who has the right stuff? Discovery takes audiences into the fun and far reaches of science and technology with this world premiere competition series. “Top Engineer” searches for America’s brightest, boldest, out-of-the-box thinkers and pits them against one another. With innovative solution to the challenges they are tasked with, competing teams are sure to blow minds as well as a few other things along the way.

One Car Too Far

It’s all about the drive to survive. What happens when you ‘MacGyver-ize’ a car? In “One Car Too Far” former British Special Forces operative and an American car junkie are dropped into incredible landscapes and forced to work together to survive and ultimately escape to safety. The twist – they will have to take a small red car with them. It’s the perfect combination as one knows how to drive and the other knows how to survive. With no proper roads and no real supplies, the two must rely on instinct and expertise alone to make it out. From the treacherous slopes and near-freezing temperatures of a mountain top, to the wet, dense vegetation of the rainforest, they use whatever supplies they can find to turn a regular car into an all-purpose vehicle to get them over, under and through just about any obstacle in their way.

Mark Burnett’s Alaska
From television maestro of reality storytelling, the colorful people, amazing history and unforgettable places that make Alaska a world apart.

Fast and Loud
These guys cruise for the classics. Meet self-described “petrol-sexual” motorhead Richard Rawlings and mechanical prodigy Aaron Kaufmann as they search far-flung corners of the country for forgotten and derelict classic cars to restore at their Gas Monkey Garage. Heaps of rust are transformed into gleaming road warriors and sold to the top bidder.

ABC Summer Upfront: Weight Loss, Wipeouts, Bachelors & Bachelorettes

Published 2 years ago

ABC has announced an unusually aggressive summer lineup, heavy on unscripted series (both competitions and reality TV). It wasted no time in signing last month’s “The Bachelor” fan favorite but loser Emily Maynard to “The Bachelorette," and re-upped several "Bachelors" for a "Big Brother"-style how-are-these-guys-gonna-stand-each-other offering called "Bachelor Pad."

Following is a list of the upcoming summer programming in chronological order (all times ET):

The Bachelorette
Monday, May 14 (9:30-11:00 P.M.)
Emily Maynard, the beautiful, sweet, young mom who captured America’s and Brad Womack’s heart on the 15th season of “The Bachelor,” finally thought she had her happy ending. She accepted Brad’s proposal but unfortunately their relationship ended, along with her dream of moving to Austin with her daughter, Ricki, and starting a family. But Emily, 26, is ready for her luck to change and to bring her the love she so richly deserves. It’s hard to meet men as a single mom, but Emily will have her pick of 25 bachelors when she gets a second opportunity to find love starring in the eighth edition of “The Bachelorette.” Instantly popular with “Bachelor” fans, Emily’s strength, passion and southern charm – as a mother and as a woman – would make anyone happy to make her his wife. She feels incredibly grateful to have found her first love when she was very young, although her fiancé, famed NASCAR driver and team owner Ricky Hendrick, tragically died in a plane crash. She then discovered she was pregnant with their child, the apple of her eye – Ricki.  Despite not having dated a lot, Emily knows what it’s like to be truly in love. In the past seven years, she has been looking for someone with the same spark she has for life, and she believes that she will find her soul mate on “The Bachelorette.” Chris Harrison is the host. “The Bachelorette” is produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television. Mike Fleiss and Martin Hilton are executive producers.

Premieres Thursday, May 24 (8:00-10:00 P.M.)
“Duets” is a one-of-a-kind singing competition that takes the Superstars out from behind the judges’ panel and onto the stage. Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles, Lionel Richie and Robin Thicke set out on individual journeys across America looking for undiscovered talent worthy of being their proteges. Ultimately, each Superstar will choose two singers for their duet partners, and together the Superstars and their proteges will take the stage each week and perform in front of a live studio audience. In the end, only one duet will be at the top of the charts, and the winning amateur will receive a recording contract with Hollywood Records. “Duets” is a production of Keep Calm and Carry On Productions. Emmy winner Robert Deaton (“The CMA Awards”) is executive producer. Emmy winner Charles Wachter (“Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution”) is co-executive producer.

Rookie Blue
Premieres Thursday, May 24 (10:00-11:00 P.M.)
A group of young and ambitious rookie cops continue to navigate the emotional trials and tribulations of their professional and personal lives. After two years on the job, these rookies are well on their way to becoming experienced cops, but at what cost? What price will they have to pay, both professionally and personally, to succeed at their job? And how can they stay true to themselves – maintaining their individuality and compassion — along the way? While a new rookie — ex-soldier Nick Collins, who is trying to adapt to policing after serving in Afghanistan — has joined 15 Division, the rest of the rookies are now entering their third year on the job. They have overcome the sophomore curse — that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. However this year the rookies of 15 Division are going to learn to be careful what they wish for – and they’re going to learn it the hard way. Emmy Award winner William Shatner (“Boston Legal”) guest stars on the premiere as Henry McLeod, a belligerent drunk driver with a haunting secret. “Rookie Blue” stars Missy Peregrym as Andy McNally, Gregory Smith as Dov Epstein, Charlotte Sullivan as Gail Peck, Enuka Okuma as Traci Nash, Travis Milne as Chris Diaz, Peter Mooney as Nick Collins and Ben Bass as Sam Swarek. Also starring in the series is Melanie Nicholls-King as Noelle Williams, Matt Gordon as Oliver Shaw, Noam Jenkins as Detective Jerry Barber and Lyric Bent as Frank Best. Tassie Cameron, Ilana Frank, David Wellington, Noreen Halpern and John Morayniss are executive producers. “Rookie Blue” is produced by ICF Films Inc. and Entertainment One.

Secret Millionaire
Premieres Sunday, June 3 (8:00-9:00 P.M.)
“Secret Millionaire” follows 13 of America’s most successful business people as they spend a week in the country’s poorest areas and ultimately gift deserving members of the community with hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money. Originally based on the hit UK series of the same name, each episode follows one of America’s most successful business people for one week as they leave behind their lavish lifestyles, sprawling mansions and luxury jets, conceal their true identities, and go to live and volunteer in some of the most impoverished and dangerous neighborhoods in the country. Surviving on welfare wages, their mission is to discover the most deserving individuals who continually sacrifice everything to help those in need, and ultimately encourage others to do the same. Throughout this incredible, life-changing experience, the Secret Millionaires will attempt to remain undiscovered, coming face to face with extraordinary people battling the odds every day of their lives. On the final day, in an emotional and dramatic climax, they reveal their true identities. Ultimately, the millionaires will each give away a great deal of their own money, changing lives forever and encouraging others to keep giving back. “Secret Millionaire” is executive-produced by Claire O’Donohoe, Grant Mansfield, Natalka Znak and Leslie Garvin. Paul Osborne is co-executive producer. The series is a Zodiak USA Production.

Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition
Premieres Sunday, June 3 (9:00-11:00 P.M.)
The hit series returns for Season 2 as transformational specialist and bestselling author Chris Powell documents the amazing makeover of eight courageous, “super obese” people who, in an unprecedented 365 days, set out to safely lose half of their body weight, ultimately revealing an amazing metamorphosis. In each of the eight stand-alone, two-hour episodes, the participants, whose ages range from 19 to 50 years, undergo a transformation not only of their bodies, but of who they are as individuals. By assuring that the participants have the proper nourishment and exercise movement, Powell provides a fresh perspective to individuals whose lives have become unmanageable because of their weight. He guides each of the eight participants through their transformation process by moving into their homes with their families or loved ones. The upcoming season is filled with remarkable and eye-opening changes, including one participant who loses 50% of his body weight, despite being homeless for most of the year. Another loses a staggering 142 pounds in the first 90 days, while still another will lose a grand total of 281 pounds over the year. In a show of support, one participant’s family challenge themselves to lose 500 pounds together. In 2012 Chris Powell became a bestselling author when his Hyperion book, Choose to Lose, hit No. 2 on the New York Times Bestseller List. From the producers of “The Biggest Loser” and “MasterChef,” “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition” is executive-produced by JD Roth, Todd A. Nelson and Matt Assmus. The series is produced by 3 Ball Productions/Eyeworks USA.

Premieres Thursday, June 28 (9:00-10:00 P.M.)
Nothing says summer like completely new “Wipeout” courses, this year featuring the Panic Hammocks, Snakes on the Plain and Batter Up. Other featured obstacles making their debut are The Hangover, Spin Psycho, The Comma-Kaze and Spinergy. There’ll also be many specials this summer, including a salute to our Armed Forces, Bring your Teacher to Wipeout Day, and an All-Star episode of winners and losers. Returning are some of some favorite specials too, including Families, Hotties VS Nerds and Blind Date. “Wipeout” executive producers are Matt Kunitz (“101 Ways to Leave a Game Show,” “Fear Factor”) and Scott Larsen. Shye Sutherland, Kevin Wehrenberg, Trice Barto and J. Rupert Thompson are co-executive producers. The series is produced by Endemol USA. David Goldberg is chairman of Endemol North America.

Trust Us With Your Life
Premieres Tuesday, JULY 10 (9:00-10:00 P.M.)
From the creators of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and “Mock the Week,” “Trust Us With Your Life” is a brand new studio-based improvisation series that redefines both the chat show and television improv formats. Hosted by Fred Willard (“Best in Show,” “Modern Family”), featured celebrities include David Hasselhoff, Ricky Gervais, Jerry Springer, Florence Henderson, Jack & Kelly Osbourne, Jane Seymour, Serena Williams and Mark Cuban. The exciting new format finds each celebrity reminiscing about key episodes that have happened in their lives, then brilliant improvisers acting out those moments which the celebrity has just described. These key moments in the life of the guest celebrity will be improvised as straight comedy or in game formats such as forward/rewind and sideways scenes. The tone of the show is friendly, funny and cheeky. Comedians on the show include Wayne Brady and Colin Mochrie (“Whose Line Is It Anyway?”), along with Jonathan Mangum (“Fast and Loose”) as the main improvisers. They will be joined by guest starring performers such as Greg Proops and Nicole Parker. Eight episodes were shot in London for ABC. “Trust Us With Your Life” is produced by Angst Productions. Dan Patterson (“Whose Line Is It Anyway?”) is executive producer.

Final Witness
Premieres Tuesday, JULY 10 (10:00-11:00 P.M.)
What if a murder victim could tell you about their final moments? The voices of the dead come to life in this true-crime series which offers a unique look at some of the nation’s most shocking murders. Each of the seven episodes will examine one case from start to finish, taking viewers inside the murder from the victim’s point of view. “Final Witness” is a compelling hybrid of documentary and drama, featuring interviews with real-life witnesses, prosecutors, law enforcement, family and friends, along with riveting scripted scenes with actors, thrusting viewers into the heart of each crime. Shot around the world at the actual locations, infused with an indie-band soundtrack and told like a feature film, “Final Witness” creates an unforgettable look at the human psyche at its darkest. The series is produced for ABC by Lincoln Square Productions. Executive producers are Rudy Bednar and Christine Connor.

Bachelor Pad
Premieres Monday, JULY 23 (8:00-10:00 P.M.)
Fan-favorites, arch rivals and villains from the hugely successful “Bachelor” franchise reunite under one roof for a second chance at love as ABC’s “Bachelor Pad” returns for a third season. For the first time, the show is upping the ante by opening up casting to the general public, and participants who have never appeared in a “Bachelor” franchise will be included. Will these fresh new faces be able to find romance? And which bachelors and bachelorettes from seasons past will rekindle old flames or ignite new ones? “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor Pad” are all produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television. Chris Harrison (“The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette”) hosts. Mike Fleiss and Martin Hilton are executive producers.

NFL Preseason Upfront: Nine Games Across NBC, Fox, ESPN

Published 2 years ago

The National Football League (NFL) yesterday announced the national television schedule for its 2012 preseason, with ten games across NBC, Fox Sports and ESPN.

The SNF preseason kicks off on Sunday, August 19 when Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Indianapolis Colts, who own the first pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

The other Sunday Night Football preseason tilt announced today has Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow and the New York Jets hosting Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, August 26. Coverage for both games begins at 8 P.M. ET on NBC. Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analyst) and Michele Tafoya – all nominated for 2012 Sports Emmy Awards – will call the games.

Sunday Night Football, which has won three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Live Sports Series, ranks as the most-watched (persons 2+) and highest-rated primetime show, and the No. 1 program across the key demographics of Adults 18-49, 18-34, 25-54 as well as Men 18-49, 18-34 and 25-54, based on Nielsen live + same day data. Additionally, SNF is the No. 3 show among Women 18-34 and the No. 4 show among Women 18-49.

The 2012 NFL on FOX season kicks off with three exciting preseason games featuring six playoff teams, including the 2011 NFC West Champion San Francisco 49ers taking on Peyton Manning’s new team – the Denver Broncos.

Action gets underway with back-to-back prime time coverage starting Thursday, August 16 (8:00 P.M. ET). Andy Dalton and A.J. Green look to build on their rookie success as the Cincinnati Bengals head to the Georgia Dome to take on Matt Ryan, Michael Turner and the Atlanta Falcons. That game is followed up the next night with the reigning AFC North Champion Baltimore Ravens hosting Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh’s Detroit Lions on Friday, August 17 (8:00 P.M. ET). FOX Sports’ preseason coverage wraps up on Sunday, August 26 (4:00 P.M. ET) with the new-look Denver Broncos hosting Alex Smith and the 49ers.

Following its coverage of the NFL’s prestigious NFC regular season schedule, FOX Sports presents exclusive live postseason coverage including an NFC Wild Card Game, the NFC Divisional Playoffs and the NFC Championship Game.

Fox Sports 2012 NFL Preseason Broadcast Schedule

  • Thursday, August 16 Cincinnati Bengals at Atlanta Falcons 8:00 P.M. ET
  • Friday, August 17 Detroit Lions at Baltimore Ravens 8:00 P.M. ET
  • Sunday, August 26 San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos 4:00 P.M.ET


ESPN will televise four NFL games as part of its 2012 Monday Night Football preseason schedule. Play-by-play commentator Mike Tirico and analyst Jon Gruden will call every game in anticipation of ESPN’s MNF regular-season opener on Monday, Sept. 10. All MNF preseason games will begin at 8 P.M. ET.

The season kicks off Thursday, August 9, when Aaron Rodgers and the NFC North champion Green Bay Packers travel to San Diego to face Philip Rivers and the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium.

The ESPN crew then heads up the California coast four days later to the Bay Area when Carson Palmer and the Oakland Raiders host Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys on Monday, Aug. 13. The game will be a homecoming for Gruden, who served as head coach of the Raiders from 1998-2001.

On Monday, Aug. 20, Tom Brady and the AFC champion New England Patriots host Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

ESPN will conclude its preseason schedule when Larry Fitzgerald and the Arizona Cardinals face Chris Johnson and the Tennessee Titans at LP Field in Nashville on Thursday, August 23.

ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s 24-hour Spanish-language domestic sports network, will once again offer a Spanish-language production of MNF preseason and regular season games in 2012.
The 2012 ESPN MNF regular season schedule is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

ESPN’s MNF 2012 NFL Preseason Schedule:

  • Thursday, Aug. 9, 8 P.M., Green Bay Packers at San Diego Chargers
  • Monday, Aug. 13, 8 P.M., Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders
  • Monday, Aug. 20, 8 P.M., Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots
  • Thursday, Aug. 23, 8 P.M., Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans

Upfront TV: “Apt. 23” Preview | “Mad Men” Record | Kimmel Hosts Emmys

Published 2 years ago
  • While its comedy “Don’t Trust the B---- In Apartment 23” doesn’t premiere until April 11 at 9:30 P.M. ET, ABC has released the full episode on Hulu, describes Huffington Post. Lead actress Kristen Ritter plays a nightmare roommate to the small-town-girl-in-Manhattan Dreama Walker, with a cast rounded out by James Van Der Beek (“Dawson’s Creek”).
  • Food Network is claiming its high highest-rated, most-watched quarter ever, posting a .6 among adults 25-54 (up 20% from 2011), watched nightly by an average of 1.3 million total viewers (645k adults 25-54), ranking it 9th* among ad-supported cable networks for the quarter, up two spots from 2011. March also culminated as the 7th consecutive month that Food Network has had “highest-ever” individual, monthly delivery. FN’s Sunday night tentpole programming continues to drive the record-breaking success, beginning with “Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off,” posting a 1.3 adult 25-54 rating for the season, having premiered as the #1 show in its timeslot. Returning series, “Worst Cooks in America” has averaged a 1.1 adult 25-54 rating over its seven-week run, with the upcoming finale to air Sunday, April 1st at 9pm. Other standout primetime performers include “Restaurant: Impossible” which averages a .9 adult 25-54 rating and up 68% over year ago timeslot. •
  • Netflix will not be picking up the canceled Fox dinosaur adventure “Terra Nova,” says Hollywood Reporter. Netflix and 20th Television were unable to come to terms. While the show had strong appeal, the premiere episode of the Steven Spielberg project was delayed twice and cost an estimated $20 million.
  • No surprises here: AMC’s Sunday night fifth-season premiere of “Mad Men” resulted in record ratings, making it the most-watched episode ever from the series. From 9-11 P.M. EST, the network attracted a 2.5 household rating (which would be respectable even for a primetime broadcast network), delivering 3.5 million viewers. This marks a +21% growth from season four’s premiere. Among the core demo of Adults 25-54, “Mad Men” delivered 1.7 million marking an increase of +17% versus the season four premiere. “Mad Men” airs on AMC Sunday nights at 10 P.M. ET/PT.

  • Fox has announced “Fox’s 25th Anniversary Special,” airing April 22 from 8 P.M. to 10 P.M. ET/PT. It will have the curiosity factor, bringing in Ed O’Neill, Christina Applegate, Katey Sagal and David Faustino together to salute “Married With Children”; David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and Chris Carter from “The X-Files”; Shannen Doherty, Jason Priestley, Gabrielle Carteris and Ian Ziering from “Beverly Hills, 90210″; Calista Flockhart from “Ally McBeal”; and Patrick Warburton from “The Tick” among other talent scheduled to appear. The network promises “an entertaining look back at the groundbreaking and irreverent shows that have defined the network since its first signal transmission on April 5, 1987,” with highlights from iconic series.
  • Now’s a good time to buy. Jimmy Kimmel, star and executive producer of the late-night ABC talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” will host the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, broadcast live coast to coast, Sunday, September 23, 2012 on ABC. This will be Kimmel’s first time hosting the Primetime Emmy telecast. Renowned director/producer Don Mischer will serve as executive producer for a record 12th time. “Jimmy Kimmel Live’s” YouTube channel recently surpassed a half-billion views, becoming the world’s first late-night television show (and only the third U.S. show of any time) to break the half-billion mark. Additionally, Kimmel’s show just generated its most watched February sweeps in five years.

Upfront TV: Woods Draws for CBS | Basketball Takes Primetime | ABC Family “Hungry”

Published 2 years ago
  • Tiger Woods has CBS “Looking Forward to the Masters,” reports TheWrap. Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament Sunday in Orlando, and CBS will broadcast the final rounds of The Masters golf tournament from Augusta, Ga., on Saturday and Sunday, April 7-8. This was Woods’ first win since 2009, and his first victory in 30 months. Love him or hate him, viewership was down 13% last year on the Masters’ final day, after Woods fizzled. CBS took a still giant 10.4% of households in the top 56 U.S. markets, down from 12.0 in 2010, when Woods returned to the green after his marital troubles. 
  • Primetime documentaries are rare, but CBS will air “What They Believe: Hindus, Zoroastrians, Bahá’ís,” an interfaith religion special, on Sunday, April 15. The special will examine the beliefs of the three religions, particularly how they are observed in the U.S. The documentary was produced in cooperation with such religious organizations as the National Council of Churches, the Islamic Society of North America and the New York Board of Rabbis. Hinduism is the most conspicuous of the three faiths; Zoroastrianism is a 3,500-year-old faith tradition based on the teachings of the prophet Zarathustra in ancient Persia, now Iran. The Bahá’í faith is that there is only one religion which has been progressively revealed by a series of Divine Messengers of which their prophet, Bahá’u’lláh, is said to be the latest in a succession that includes Krishna, Abraham, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Christ and Mohammed. The documentary was overseen by executive producer John Blessington and producer Liz Kineke.
  • Perhaps basketball killed the party for Fox, and NBC. CBS easily won Saturday night in both total viewers and adults 18-49, reports TVByTheNumbers, with its coverage of the NCAA Basketball Tournament at 8 p.m.; the network took a 3.4 in adults 18-49. At 10 P.M., “48 Hours Mystery” garnered a 1.4 in adults 18-49, down from a 1.6 last week. Over on Fox, “Q’Viva” plodded along with a  continued 0.5 among adults 18-49 for the two-hour show, up from last week’s 0.4. NBC’s “The Firm” went soft, with an 0.4 among adults 18-49, down from 0.6 for its last episode on March 10.
  • ABC Family has acquired network TV premiere rights to the blockbuster “The Hunger Games” in a deal with Lionsgate. The announcement comes on the heels of “The Hunger Games’” (a dystopian adventure about teens hunting one another in a reality TV show) record-shattering debut, with an estimated $155 million at the North American box office this past weekend, the third highest-grossing opening weekend of all time. The network has moved away from its strictly “family friendly” image in recent years, balancing edgier original programming like “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and “Pretty Little Liars” alongside syndicated episodes of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” 

  • Disney XD will launch the Season Two of its series “Kickin’ It” in April 2, reports Multichannel News. The karate-themed series stars “Hannah Montana” alum Jason Earles, and is ranked as Disney XD's most watched series last in 2011 in total viewers (873,000), kids 6-14 (578,000) and tweens 9-14 (393,000), reports Disney XD. Among the highlights of the second season is an appearance by the Harlem Globetrotters. The series runs on DisneyXD as well as via DisneyXD On Demand,, Disney XD Mobile, Sony Playstation, Xbox Live and iTunes, said the network.

Upfront TV: OWN “Saddles” Discovery | WWE’s Wrestlemania Event | MLB/Fox Pregame Show | No “Office”?

Published 2 years ago
  • The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) could “Saddle…Winfrey and Discovery Communications with a $142.9 million loss this year,” reports Broadcasting & Cable, citing SNL Kagan data. Kagan’s Derek Baines listed the challenges; bad press that scares off advertisers, and having to renew carriage deals with cable operators in 2012 and 2013, versus the three-year (at least) contracts it could have expected with better ratings. As Baines described, “[Discovery’s] hope for license fees of 20 cents to 25 cents per sub may now be unrealistic." Baines expects Discovery to ask Winfrey to cover the losses, if the partnership is to move forward. Meanwhile, both the LA Times and RadarOnline (a gossip outlet that tends to be accurate) report that Winfrey is courting her long-time friend Maria Shriver to step into the network with a show, to add journalistic credibility. Her Kennedy/Schwarzenegger connections aside, Shriver is a Peabody Award-winning journalist, and has anchor experience on CBS and at “NBC Dateline” and “NBC Nightly News.”
  • Numerous ad opportunities, on a handful of networks, for this wrestling matchup. World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and NBCUniversal are joining forces to televise “Once in a Lifetime – Rock vs. Cena,” a one-hour special that follows WWE Superstars The Rock and John Cena on their respective roads to WrestleMania XXVIII. This first ever behind-the-scenes special premieres Monday, March 26 on USA Network at 8 P.M. ET, 7 P.M. CT and will also air on NBCUniversal networks including Syfy, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, G4, Style, NBC Sports Network, mun2, CLOO and Universal HD leading up to WrestleMania on Sunday, April 1 at 7:00 P.M.  ET. WWE and NBCU promise “a candid and compelling look at two of the biggest icons in sports entertainment history as they prepare for their Once in a Lifetime main event match. From touring and training on the road to Hollywood movie sets to the 54th Annual Daytona 500, this in-depth look with exclusive footage gives viewers unprecedented access and a glimpse into the personal lives of these men.”

  • Major League Baseball (MLB) Network is partnering with Fox Sports on an expanded pregame show before Fox’s game of the week, reports Multichannel News. The Fox Saturday Baseball Pregame Show will run 30 minutes live from MLB's Studio 3 in Secaucus, N.J., hosted by Fox Sports and MLB Network veteran Matt Vasgersian. He will be partnered weekly with a roster of MLB Network analysts, incuding Harold Reynolds, Mitch Williams, Eric Byrnes and Kevin Millar. The first airdate will be April 7 at 3:30 P.M. ET, before a Boston Red Sox/Detroit Tigers contest, which is the first broadcast of Fox's 2012 regular-season schedule.
  • Yet another original series from Netflix. Netflix will offer the horror series "Hemlock Grove," from director, producer and “torture horror auteur” Eli Roth (“Grindhouse,” “Hostel,” “Cabin Fever”). Netflix promises “a gripping tale of murder, mystery and monsters set in a ravaged Pennsylvania steel town,” starring Famke Janssen and Bill Skarsgard. “Hemlock Grove” will be available for Netflix members to watch instantly, beginning early in 2013. The story line begins with the mangled corpse of a young girl, with suspects ranging from a biotech executive to a teenaged gypsy who claims to be a werewolf. This is the third original Netflix series, after David Fincher's "House of Cards" and the mobster-in-Norway series "Lillyhammer." Netflix is also producing a fourth season of the previously canceled Fox cult hit "Arrested Development."
  • Sir Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and a Peabody Award-winning star of stage and screen) will host the 71st Annual George Foster Peabody Awards ceremony on Monday, May 21, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. The winners of the Peabody Awards for original broadcast, cablecast and Webcast programs presented in 2011 will be announced via Webcast on April 4 from the University of Georgia. The Peabodys, the oldest awards in broadcasting, are considered among the most prestigious and selective prizes in electronic media. The Peabody Awards recognize excellence and meritorious work by radio and television stations, networks, webcasters, producing organizations and individuals. 

  • More signs that “The Office” will close, reports Deadline Hollywood. Paul Lieberstein (who plays bland HR director Toby Flanders on the show) is stepping down as executive producer and showrunner,. He will devote his time to a spinoff series, “The Farm,” starring Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute). Elsewhere, Mindy Kaling (Kelly Kapoor) is leaving for her own sitcom on Fox, and head writer Daniel Chun is likely defecting to ABC. As Hollywood Reporter describes, the remaining core cast members (Ed Helms, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer) are still “in talks” about returning for the ninth season, and have been in talks for more than a month.